These days most of us are sitting home and scrolling through our social media much more than normal. By now, most of you would have come across some posts claiming how the earth is healing due to the coronavirus. While some of them are true, like satellite images showing a decrease in the pollution levels over China, fake news has made its way here as well.
The amount of fake animal news on the internet has increased considerably over the past few days. News of dolphins returning, Elephants getting drunk on wining and sleeping cosily all made the news. There was the subject to mass retweets, shares and status updates.
These stories were like a breath of fresh air in these troubled times, a positive piece of information that made everyone smile. People talked about how a silver lining when it came to COVID-19 was that it gave the planet, its resources and its wildlife a chance to rejuvenate.
However, most of them have now sadly been debunked. It seems that in all these cases, fake news was the victor once again. A fact check report by National Geographic tells us the true story
One of the viral tweets doing the rounds shared how after Italy went into lockdown, swans and dolphins had come back to the canals of Venice. But the contents of the tweet have now being proved as incorrect. The swans in the pictures are from the canals of Burano, not Venice, where they are regularly spotted. While the dolphins that were said to be spotted in Venice were actually filmed at the Sardinian port in the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of miles away. The only thing true about the post was how the canal water has become cleaner, owing to the decreased boat activity.
Another post that was widely circulated was which contained a story about how about how a group of 14 elephants broke into a village in Yunnan province, looking for corn and other food. It also said how the elephants ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden.
But sadly, that has been proved to be a piece of fake news as well. Chinese reports have debunked the story, saying that while a group of elephants did enter a village in Yunnan province, that’s the only bit of truth in the story.
The real news is completely different from the post’s contents. Neither the elephants got drunk neither did they pass out in the fields. Rather the animals allegedly went on a rampage and caused damage to homes and property.
So while the stories surely were inspiring and could’ve made you happy in these testing times, sadly they’re fake. As we always say, fact check your sources!